Urban Cinefile
"Masculinity is me. There are no doubts about me. People do not look at me and say, 'He is an actor. I wonder if he is gay or some kind of pervert' "  -Michael Caine on his career
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday June 15, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



I’ve never given much credence to the view that the best soundtracks are the ones you can’t hear. Certainly different soundtracks play different roles in different films. Inevitably a single soundtrack will also play different roles within the same film. Sometimes the wind beneath the wings of the drama; and sometimes the carrying the action. The corollary of all this is that there’s no reason on Earth—or planet Hollywood for that matter—that a good score shouldn’t be a treat in its own right.

Many composers could rightly claim that film scorers have it easy. Inspiration handed to them on a platter; or on a screenplay at least. A highly paid collection of talent—writers, directors, cinematographers—to fire their creativity before they ever put pencil to manuscript, or MIDI to sequencer.

Even a film that isn’t well realised in itself will almost always contain some sentiment that is a rich source for musical interpretation, whether it be comedy, tragedy, suspense or any one of the infinite twists of romance.

Of course Hans Zimmer has scored some films that don’t just contain a glimmer of inspiration, but rank in the upper cinematic strata. Gladiator, Driving Miss Daisy, Thelma and Louise, Power Of One and the Lion King represent as diverse a range of quality films as can be found while fishing in the mainstream. Music from each of these is included among a dozen selections from Zimmer’s oeuvre, captured for this album at a live concert performance at the Flanders International Film Festival of October, 2000.

Zimmer’s music might be born of cinematic inspiration, but as with all good music it has a life of its own. Once such music becomes familiar, as many of these themes have become familiar, there is nothing more exciting then to hear it performed live. The nuances of interpretation, the organic creation of sound, will always excite not only the new listener but those who already love the music.

Although the performances here are inconsistent and the recording a little distant and grainy, it is still a fascinating and entertaining album for all the aforementioned reasons. Of course a more virtuosic orchestra, and a sparkling production and it could have been a tour de force, so there is an element of disappointment. Especially as Zimmer has not capitalised on the opportunity to arrange any notable suites or segues between themes.

Instead the CD presents like a greatest-hits rock concert, with polite applause punctuating the pieces instead of screams and whistles. We cinephiles are so refined!

Gratifyingly, Australia’s Lisa Gerrard delivers one of the more sparkling performances. Her unique vocals are even more epic and haunting on this live version of Now We Are Free from Gladiator, than on the soundtrack recording. While Zimmer himself adds tasteful piano for Drivng Miss Daisy.

As a compilation, this is an unbeatable collection of themes and cues from one of the world’s great film music composers. Zimmer has come a long way since collaborating with the Buggles (of Video Killed The Radio Star fame). No amount of studio panache will ever kill the joy of beautiful music played live. While this isn’t a stellar concert in terms of execution it is still full of rewards, even among the slip-ups.
Brad Green

Published September 27, 2001

Email this article

TITLE: The Wings Of A Film (The Music Of Hans Zimmer)

A live concert performance at the Flanders International Film Festival, Ghent, October, 2000

ID: 28946 77492

COMPOSER: Hans Zimmer



1) Track 1 (Now We Are Free) 0:46

2) Track 3 (Driving Miss Daisy) 1:53

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020